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IQE

12 April 2016

Midsummer funded by Sweden's Mistra to develop CIGS PV modules on electric vehicles

Midsummer AB of Järfälla, near Stockholm, Sweden, a provider of turnkey production lines for manufacturing flexible, lightweight copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, has received funding from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) to develop lightweight solar modules for integration into body panels in the composite roof of a Clean Motion Zbee ultra-light electric vehicle.

Picture: A Clean Motion Zbee ultra-light electric vehicle.

Mistra is funding Midsummer's development of lightweight solar modules on vehicles. The project aims to research and evaluate the integration of thin-film solar panels for urban transport using ultra-light vehicles.
Clean Motion has developed the ultra-light electric vehicle Zbee, with the goal to create a vehicle using little resources (both at production and usage) without compromising safety or design. Solar panels would enable the use of solar energy to recharge the vehicle's battery, increasing the driving range before needing conventional battery charging.

"Using solar panels is the only way towards making a vehicle energy autonomic," says Midsummer's CEO Sven Lindström. "Midsummer solar panels are flexible both by being bendable and possible to manufacture in different size and voltage configurations," he adds. "Also, the CIGS cells on thin stainless-steel substrates, together with the plastic material layers, give resistant lightweight modules".

Clean Motion and Midsummer have worked together to provide ZBee with solar cells that charge the battery. Standard 6" solar cells in a solar panel shaped like a 'W' allowed mounting onto the double-curved roof. Tests conducted in Sweden showed that solar energy increased the mileage by with 5km per day (a 10% increase). In southern latitudes and with optimized PV area and electronics, mileage would increase further, and some users would hence not even need conventional battery charging, it is reckoned.

Development will continue to improve integration and performance, since the initial Zbee project demonstrates that solar cells have the potential to replace conventional battery charging and that Midsummer solar panels are suited to being customized for different applications. 

Tags: CIGS Thin-film PV

Visit: http://cleanmotion.se/zbee

Visit: www.mistra.org/en/mistra.html

Visit: www.midsummer.se

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